A team of Sage Hill students has advanced in the AngelHack competition, with their web app project, Dime, selected as one of fewer than 20 other teams to pitch to investors during Global Demo Day in Silicon Valley on November 1.
Ryan Simpson ‘19, Jackie Ni ‘20 and Tim Guo ‘20 recently finished up the 12-week Hackcelerator Program after winning first place at AngelHack Los Angeles over the summer.
Their winning project, which was previously named Etherball, is a decentralized web-based basketball game with digital basketball players. It’s a free game that allows players to purchase players with an in-game currency, build a team and then play in tournaments.
“You can see your team play against other teams from around the world and you can then go back to the market, find other players you like, and you can trade with other players,” Simpson said. “We’re trying to create a very strategic kind of investing-style game.”
The name change from Etherball to Dime was a strategic maneuver to give the game a name that better suited its purpose.
“When you call something a ‘dime’ in basketball, it’s a really nice pass or assist,” Simpson said. “So we thought we thought that was a really catchy name that relates to the game of basketball and also it's like a double meaning because a lot of our stuff involves [fake] money.”
Right now, all the “basketball players” in the marketplace are animals like bears, chipmunks and foxes with different ratings for speed, strength, defense, etc. At Sage Hill’s recent Service Learning fair, the group started talking to the Newport Bay Conservancy about a partnership.
“We’re trying to include endangered species and other animals that could use some help right now to spread awareness for wildlife conservation,” Simpson said. “We’re in our opening stages of creating a kind of social awareness throughout the application.”
Next up for Dime is the big pitch meeting in Silicon Valley.
“We're in a pretty good position inside of the pool of startups that we’re part of, and we're going to be able to try and get interviews with a few more Silicon Valley leaders that can begin to connect us with funding,” Simpson said. “Best case scenario … we grab around $100,000 in seed funding.”
But these investors will not go easy on this young group.
“They practically scream at you,” Simpson said. “They're really counting on us to create financial value at some point. So they are going to be criticizing us beyond belief. We’re going to be working on our pitch constantly over the next couple of weeks.”
The group is also looking for beta testers in the Sage Hill community. An ideal candidate is someone who is interested in sports management, but they hope to connect with anyone who wants to get involved or just talk with them more about Dime.
“Anybody who is interested -- we’d love to talk,” Simpson said. “Coffee’s on us!”